Rich won an Emmy in 1972 for directing All in the Family, and was nominated twice in 1971 and 1973. Also in 1972, he won DGA Awards for Most Outstanding Television Director and for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series. As a producer for All in the Family, he won an Emmy in 1973, was Emmy-nominated in 1974, and won two Golden Globes. He also directed other popular series including Our Miss Brooks; I Married Joan; Bat Masterson; The Twilight Zone; Gomer Pyle; The Dick Van Dyke Show (for which he was Emmy-nominated in 1961, and won the award in 1963); Bonanza; and Gunsmoke. His feature film credits include Wives and Lovers; The New Interns; Roustabout; Boeing Boeing; and Easy Come, Easy Go.
John Rich was instrumental in the 1960 merger between the Screen Directors Guild and the Radio and Television Directors Guild which became the Directors Guild of America. He has served on the DGA National Board and Western Directors Council for over 50 years, chaired the Directors Guild Foundation and the Board of Trustees of the DGA-Producer Pension Plan. In 1993, Rich received the Robert B. Aldrich Award for Extraordinary Service to the Guild. He was honored again in 2003 with the DGA Honorary Life Member Award. His memoir Warm up the Snake provides his unique perspective on the backstage workings of the entertainment industry.